Connections - The Charrette

The Name  |   The Vision  |   The Founder's Story  |   The Charrette  |   The Team  |   The Definition of a TND



Given that it's the model being applied by Full Circle Ventures and planning firm PlaceMakers to property at State and 168th Streets, a little explanation might be in order.

In 19th century Paris at the Ecole de Beaux Arts, professors often circulated a small cart - a "charrette" - to collect final drawings from their students. In light of this impending deadline, creative students established a workable extension, literally jumping upon the cart to add one final touch to their work.

Today, in similar spirit, "charrette" has come to mean an intensive planning session where a variety of participants - a developer, planners, architects, illustrators, local business, government officials, community residents and other interested parties - gather to collaborate on a vision for development. The process is energized, and highly effective, providing an expansive forum for ideas and immediate feedback to the designers that put them to paper.

Over the course of about a week, a largely complete plan emerges and every participant becomes a mutual author.

The idea was especially compelling to developer Herb Freeman, who was looking for ways to raise the bar in Omaha and help restore the comforting sense of community that seems absent from everyday subdivisions.

"This process puts people first," he notes. "Conventional subdivisions are engineered. This neighborhood will be designed! Engineering is about efficiency, not people."

The charrette for State and 168th was a textbook example of the process. Like most charrettes, it took place in close proximity to the actual property, where a team of design experts and consultants set up a full working office, complete with drafting equipment, supplies, computers, copy machines, fax machines, and telephones. Formal and informal meetings were held throughout the event, with updates to the plan presented periodically.

Click here to see the Charrette Journal.

Click here to read about our current team.

View the original What's New on State Street web site - created at the time of the Charette.